(You're reading all posts by Buster Hein) Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.
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Apple has made the third public preview of its upcoming OS X Yosemite operating system available to the one million beta testers via its AppleSeed program.
OS X Yosemite Preview 8 Build 14A361c has also been seeded to developers and is available for download in the Mac App Store or from the Mac Dev Center along with a new version of Xxode 6.1 beta 2 and Apple Configurator 1.7 beta 6.
Apple’s note to developers doesn’t mention the addition of new features, but does state that SMS Continuity has been removed from testing, but it will be available again in October via a free update to iOS 8. The note also states that only iPhoto 9.5.1 and Aperture 3.5.1 will run on OS X Yosemite Preview 8. We’ll update you with any new features we find once we get the new preview installed.
Apple’s historic launch of U2’s new album Songs of Innocence to 500 million iTunes users hasn’t exactly been well-received. After less than 1 percent of iTunes users downloaded the freebie album on the first day, Apple shoved it down users’ throats by automatically downloading to devices withdisastrous results.
Now, after everyone’s had a weekend to cool off, Apple’s offering users an innovative solution in the form of a support site dedicated to teaching iTunes users how to pry U2’s spam album off their Mac or iPhone for good.
Here are the steps Apple recommends:
Pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus shattered Apple’s previous records and the 4 million customers ready to caress every square inch of the big and bigger screens will be happy to know that the first planes from China have already touched down in the U.S. with iPhone 6 cargo.
A China Southern Airlines Boeing 777 was spotted by China Daily as 93 tons of Apple iPhone 6s were being loaded onto the plane in Central China’s Henan province before it headed for Chicago, Illinois, and other American pilots have even posted pictures of their iPhone 6 payloads from inside the fuselage.
Picks of the week...
So you don't have to slog through a lake of reviews to find something you’re just going to put down after 10 minutes, Cult of Mac has waded through the iTunes Store to compile a list of the best new books, movies and music to come out this week.
To go with your free U2 album, this week we've got picks that include Tom Cruise's best action film in years, a book on world power from former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and a post-apocalyptic thriller that will haunt your dreams.
World Order, by Henry Kissinger
What it's about: A deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder from a former U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Why you should read it: Kissinger will guide you through a global tour of the events and ideas that formed the historic concepts of order, their manifestations in contemporary controversies, and the ways in which they might ultimately be reconciled.
iTunes - $19.99
Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World
What it sounds like: Avant-garde dance rock with plenty of pile-driving bass, wild harmonics and lovely lo-fi recordings.
Why you should listen to it: After becoming indie stars with their 2004 album, the Toronto duo are finally back with their first LP in a decade and they haven’t lost a step.iTunes - $9.99
Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow
What it's about: An alien race has invaded Earth, and the only way for Tom Cruise to stop them is get killed repeatedly on suicide missions because he has the power to “reboot.”
Why you should watch it: It’s the best movie Tom Cruise has been in since Tropic Thunder.
iTunes - $19.99
Tennis - Ritual in Repeat
What it sounds like: Breezy, weightless indie-pop with a touch of fuzz that’s perfect for easy listening.
Why you should listen to it: The indie pop-duo adds a drummer and sheds its blank persona for deeper meaning in this confident sophomore effort.
iTunes - $9.99
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
What it's about: A flu that wipes out 99% of the Earth’s population, and dark days of civilization’s collapse.
Why you should read it: Post-apocalyptic tales are all the rage this fall, and Mandel pulls hers off with haunting perfection
iTunes - $12.99
What it's about: A brilliant indie musician who wears a papier-mâché mask onstage that he never takes off.
Why you should watch it: It’s hilarious, touching, off-beat, and one of the most original stories you could watch this weekend.
iTunes - $6.99
The Dog, by Joseph O'Neill
What it's about: An unnamed hero who moves to Dubai seeking rejuvenation after breaking up with his long-time girlfriend, but is only met with heartbreak and isolation.
Why you should read it: O’Neill earned praise as one of the best upcoming writers, and his clever, witty and insightful work in The Dog has gotten him long listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.
iTunes - $10.99
U2 - Songs of Innocence
What it sounds like: According to our Review Editor it’s “a well-crafted, highly produced modern rock album by one of the best bands still around."
iTunes - Free
Apple put mobile wallet payment platforms like Google Wallet, Square and PayPal on notice this week with the reveal of Pay, but before Cupertino decided to launch its answer to the wallet, sources tell TechCrunch the company was eyeing an acquisition of Square.
Square’s simplistic payments platform seems like it would have been the perfect fit for Apple and would have added “Next Steve Jobs Nominee” Jack Dorsey to its loaded executive ranks, but after Apple executives failed to put enough cash on the table, Square walked away from negotiations.
GIFs are one of the finest gifts God has given the internet. I can’t get enough of them. And once iOS 8 drops it’s going to be easier than ever to have non-stop reaction GIF conversations with friends.
PopKey is a third party keyboard that will replace those useless letters on your keyboard with your favorite GIFs.
You can search for GIFs by keyword and paste them into messages without ever having to leave your conversation. The app will come with access to thousands of GIFs, but you can also upload your own if you want. And now that iOS 8 automatically deletes old messages, you don’t have to worry about them hogging your storage.
Here’s a closer look at the keyboard in action:
One of the best underrated features of iOS 8 is the addition of Wi-Fi calling, and while carriers like T-Mobile and EE have been quick to jump on Apple’s new technology that makes transition calls from LTE to WiFi seamless, AT&T is dragging its heels and says it doesn’t plan to enable the feature until 2015.
AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega doesn’t see an urgent need to add WiFi calling, reports LightReading, after attending Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference where Ralph said AT&T will only add Wi-Fi calling 2015 as a compliment to VoLTE and 3G voice.
U2’s partnership with Apple created the biggest album release ever this week with over 500 million iTunes customers receiving Song of Innocence for free, with just one bromantic touching of fingers, but according to U2’s manager, Guy Oseary, the band has even more plans in development with Apple.
Giving away U2’s album for free also proved how worthless the album format is nowadays thanks to iTunes indomitable ability to sell single MP3 files faster than McDonald’s can spit out beef patties, but in an interview with Billboard, Oseary hinted that Apple and U2 are working on a new formats to consume music too.
Filtering the fluff from the scoops...
Tim Cook put an end to iPhone 6 rumor season with the introduction of two monstrous new smartphones this week in Cupertino, but before we dive head first into another 12 months of crazy iPhone and Watch rumors, let's take a look back at this year's most popular rumors and see which sources in the Apple rumormill were spitting out truth, and which sources should probably be avoided when the next crop of rumors pop up.
Winner: Feld and Volk
These crazy Russians not only have one of the most fascinating business models that spits out $10k customized iPhones, they're also the undisputed winners of this year's iPhone rumor season thanks to a series of high-quality leak components. The site had everything: shells, logic boards, flex cables, camera modules, a display. They even made a working iPhone 6 before Tim Cook revealed it on September 9th.
Loser: Lightning headphones
Gordon Kelly at Forbes tried to argue that Apple was ditching the headphone jack this year after seeing MFi specifications that let headphones use the Lightning Port, but there's only one company that's introduced Lightning Headphones so far, and it wasn't even Beats. The 3.5mm headphone jack still remains on the iPhone, however there were some rumors that Jony wanted to ditch it for a 2.5mm headphone port, but figured we'd all be too pissed about having to buy new cables, or an adapter.
Loser: Ming Chi Kuo
Many Apple reporters consider Ming "the world's best Apple analyst" which isn't a hard title to earn when your competition just throws out bullshit ideas about Apple 24/7. The KGI analyst knocked himself off that #1 spot this year by throwing a hail mary prediction right before the Apple event, and it completely bombed.
Kuo predicted gold iPad Airs at this week's event, a programmable power button, and said the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 wouldn't launch alongside the 4.7-inch iPhone. All wrong. He did manage to successfully predict 128GB storage on all iPhones, rectangular iWatch design, and that not every iWatch would have sapphire glass, but those were all rumored before his reports.
Analysts have cried "NFC if coming" for years "based on supply chain sources" but GeekBar was the first source to find definitive proof. They also scored a couple other scoops like the 150 Mbps LTE modem from Qualcomm that went against other rumors of a 300Mbps modem, and the addition of a barometer, thanks to their keen eye at viewing Apple schematics.
Loser: Glowing Apple logos
Apple fans had high hopes that the Macbook's glowing Apple logo would make its way to the iPhone this year after changes were made to the iPhone 6 rearshell case, but it turned out Apple was just adding an embeddable logo like on the iPad Air.
Loser: Round iWatch rumors
Analyst Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities got back from a trip to Taiwan claiming he'd seen evidence from the supply chain that iWatch would be round, but like we've said a thousand times on this site, "supply chain sources" mean next to nothing when it comes to the accuracy of Apple rumors.
Loser: iPhone 6 Plus resolutions
John Gruber nailed the iPhone 6 screen resolution in his deep think piece on double and triple pixeling, but when it came to the 6 Plus resolution, everyone was off the mark. 9to5Mac reported a 1704 x 960 resolution was being used, while Chinese sources went even bigger with a quad-HD 2560 x 1440 prediction. All of them were off though, as Apple used a 1920-by-1080 pixel display for its gigantic new phone.
You did it NFC! After more than four years of hounding the Apple rumor mill with your promised presence in the iPhone, you finally made it. What's going to take the NFC's place as the most popular rumor least likely to come true for the next four year? My bet is on haptic feedback.
Loser: Sapphire glass
It's the rumor pretty much every Apple analysts and blogger in the world predicted for the last 8 months and everyone got it wrong.
Loser: Haptic feedback
Chinese site Laoyaoba declared that the iPhone 6 had a secret weapon with advanced haptic feedback technology that made it feel like the screen had buttons on it, but September 9th came and went without any mention of the tech.
Double down indeed. Not one glimpse of the Apple Watch was leaked to the press or even Chinese manufacturers ahead of this week. No one got the name of Apple Pay right. And who could have predicted the Digital Crown as the UI input for smartwatches? Say what you will about the new products, but Steve's secrecy machine is on point like never before.
Apple Watch. Apple Pay. Apple TV. Apple has gone crazy for, uh apple.
Not a single new “i” product was revealed on Tuesday, which is a good thing according to the guy that invented Apple’s i-conic naming structure, but kind of annoying when repeatedly referring to Apple Watch in texts.
Apple’s own marketing materials shorten the name by using “Watch”, which is super easy to type on OS X by pressing Option + Shift + K to pull up the character, but typing it on an iPhone or iPad is literally impossible. Luckily, our friend Adam Christianson at MacObserver has a quick tip that puts the on your iPhone keyboard with simple shortcut.